While a few years ago personal navigation device makers like Dutch firm TomTom shrugged off possible rivalry from the handset industry, they have now acknowledged the potential risk to their business.
The world's top handset maker, Nokia, started to sell its first navigation phone, the N95, a month ago, and other top vendors are expected to follow shortly, hoping to make 2007 the breakthrough year for cell phone navigation.
The N95, with a $950 price tag, is not within reach of the masses despite early reports of strong sales, but the Finnish firm aims to bring GPS-positioning chips to a wide array of its products.
"I believe it will quickly go through almost the whole of our portfolio," Kai Oistamo, head of Nokia's Mobile Phones unit, told a recent news conference.
The GPS technology enables handset makers to bypass mobile phone network operators and at least some of the navigation phones can be used for routing when not connected to operators' networks.
GPS navigation - the new big target of the cell phone industry
Posted on Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 23:31:38 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
CNET talks about how navigation is becoming the new target of cell phone makers: